This is the eighth and last story in a series that has examined the Packers’ roster, position by position, leading up to the 2015 draft. The series concludes with the defensive backs.
GREEN BAY – One week of free agency turned cornerback from the deepest position on the Packers’ roster to one of immediate need.
The departures of veterans Tramon Williams and Davon House, which occurred within a span of six days, leave no round out of bounds in the upcoming draft in terms of taking a cornerback.
It’s actually the only defensive position on which Packers GM Ted Thompson has never used a first-round pick. He selected a defensive back in the first round for the first time last year, taking safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix at No. 21 overall.
He could make it two years in a row in the secondary if the right corner is there at No. 30 on April 30.
The Packers will need a new starting cornerback to replace Williams and line up outside and opposite Sam Shields. That’s likely to be Casey Hayward, or perhaps Micah Hyde, but a high draft pick would be an instant contender for the starting lineup, as well.
Perhaps, the most intriguing cornerback prospect on the roster is second-year pro Demetri Goodson. A converted basketball player and sixth-round pick from Baylor a year ago, Goodson was active for only a handful of games last year, playing exclusively on special teams.
Coaches have said Goodson made an impression on scout-team work in practice last season, so his progress will be worth monitoring.
Practice-squad holdover Tay Glover-Wright is another young, developing corner. He was signed to the Packers’ practice squad in early October last season, so this will be his first offseason and training camp in Green Bay.
At safety, the Packers have their starters in Morgan Burnett and Clinton-Dix, and they brought back their top backup in Sean Richardson by matching a restricted free agent offer he received from Oakland.
A position of major concern at this time last year, safety became a legitimate strength as Burnett was voted a playoff captain and Clinton-Dix justified his draft status. The Alabama product concluded his rookie season with two interceptions in the NFC title game in Seattle.
Richardson led the team in special-teams tackles and was used on defense as a run stopper in certain packages. Now more than two years removed from the neck injury of his rookie season, Richardson will be looking to make the most of his one-year RFA contract.
Like Richardson, former undrafted free agent Chris Banjo also returns as a reserve with special-teams experience. Banjo spent most of last season on the practice squad as a veteran exemption before joining the active roster in December.
Jean Fanor was a late-season practice-squad addition from Nick Collins’ alma mater, Bethune-Cookman, so he’ll make his first official run at a roster spot in Green Bay.
Hyde, of course, can also play safety if needed, while the most recent signee is Kenosha, Wis., native Kyle Sebetic, a safety prospect with cornerback in his background.